Pane Bianco

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Bread is delicious.

On more than one occasion my friends and I have had dinner that consists solely of bread and cheese. And wine. Because wine is important.

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This bread combines a delicious dough with cheese, sun-dried tomatoes, garlic and basil for a pizza-like tasting bread in the most beautiful “S” shape.

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You may remember that my girl Joy (of Joy the Baker) has been hosting baking bootcamps along with the fine folks at King Arthur Flour. This recipe isn’t a baking bootcamp recipe but it is a new fun project the people at King Arthur flour are hosting called “Bake Along”.

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Every month, they post a new seasonal recipe for us home baker to try. There are no prizes involved but you do get to stretch your baking muscles and try things that maybe you (or I) haven’t thought to do before.

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This pane bianco was the challenge for August.

I had a busy August and didn’t actually get around to making it then, but I did make it on Sept. 1st, so we’re just going to pretend that August lasted an extra day.

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This bread is fun! You kind of assemble it like you would if you were making cinnamon rolls but once you roll it up into a log, instead of just slicing off rolls you slice it down the middle (not all the way through) and twist it into an “S” shape. So you can actually see some of the filling instead of it just being a closed, stuffed loaf.

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It’s deceptively easy to make and tastes so, so good. And it’ll make your kitchen smell great which is always a good thing.

Let’s make bread, guys!

Pane Bianco

Ingredients

    Dough:
  • 3 cups unbleached bread flour
  • 2 tsp. instant yeast
  • 1 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1 egg
  • 1/3 cup lukewarm water
  • 1/2 cup lukewarm milk
  • 3 tbsp. olive oil
    Filling:
  • 3/4 cup shredded Italian cheese blend (I used mozzarella, provolone, and asiago)
  • 1/2 cup oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes
  • 3-6 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
  • 1/3 cup chopped fresh basil

Instructions

  1. Combine all of the dough ingredients in a bowl, and mix and knead — by hand or using a mixer — to make a smooth, very soft dough. The dough should stick a bit to the bottom of the bowl if you're using a stand mixer.
  2. Place the dough in a lightly greased bowl, cover, and let it rise for 45 to 60 minutes, or until it's doubled in size.
  3. Meanwhile, thoroughly drain the tomatoes, patting them dry. Use kitchen shears to cut them into smaller bits.
  4. Gently deflate the dough. Flatten and pat it into a 22" x 8 1/2" rectangle. Spread with the cheese, tomatoes, garlic, and basil.
  5. Starting with one long edge, roll the dough into a log the long way. Pinch the edges to seal. Place the log seam-side down on a lightly greased or parchment-lined baking sheet.
  6. Using kitchen shears, start 1/2" from one end and cut the log lengthwise down the center about 1" deep, to within 1/2" of the other end.
  7. Keeping the cut side up, form an "S" shape. Tuck both ends under the center of the "S" to form a "figure 8;" pinch the ends together to seal.
  8. Cover and let rise in a warm place until doubled, 45 to 60 minutes.
  9. While the loaf is rising, preheat the oven to 350°F.
  10. Uncover the bread, and bake it for 35 to 40 minutes, tenting it with foil after 20 to 25 minutes to prevent over-browning.
  11. Remove the bread from the oven, and transfer it to a rack to cool. Enjoy warm or at room temperature. Store, well-wrapped, at room temperature for a couple of days; freeze for longer storage.

Recipe from King Arthur Flour

http://www.bryonycooks.com/pane-bianco/

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